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If you’re poor, Kansas is one of the worst places to live, study says

Nighttime view of the Wichita skyline. A new study says Kansas is one of the most challenging states to live in if you’re poor. Kansas ranked fourth worst, following Georgia, Virginia and Mississippi.
Nighttime view of the Wichita skyline. A new study says Kansas is one of the most challenging states to live in if you’re poor. Kansas ranked fourth worst, following Georgia, Virginia and Mississippi. Special to the Eagle

A new study says Kansas is one of the most challenging states to live in if you’re poor.

Kansas ranked fourth worst, following Georgia, Virginia and Mississippi.

“Aside from a low cost of living and low median monthly rents, Kansas shows little love for its low-income residents,” read a news release from RewardExpert, which conducted the study.

Factors that counted against Kansas included its minimum wage ($7.25, the same as the federal minimum) and not having state laws regarding family medical leave. Another count against Kansas was its Medicaid eligibility threshold.

Kansas was praised, however, for its Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and its state earned income tax credit.

“Our hope is to educate individuals and families living with low incomes about resources available to them in their home state,” said Rowan Tepper, a senior analyst for RewardExpert. “The first step toward improving any situation is to become more informed.”

RewardExpert, a service that helps people manage frequent flier programs and credit card rewards, conducted the study by looking at federal and state social programs and assistance, insurance and Medicaid, minimum wages and employment rates, state laws governing family or medical leave, income tax, housing costs, overall cost of living and more.

They calculated percentile rankings for each indicator and determined a final ranking by averaging those values.

The states that ranked best for low-income people were Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Michigan and Illinois.

A Michigan-based non-profit furnished an Army veteran's home and gave him a bed after learning that he has been sleeping on the floor. (Music by Getty Music)

Katherine Burgess: 316-268-6400, @kathsburgess.



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